The Lake Erie College men's soccer team had their best season under the belt of head coach Davie Carmichael in 2013 at 8-8-2 and a playoff appearance. This season, the Storm got better and raised the bar higher. The Storm won 11 games on the season and made a return trip to the GLIAC Tournament.
The Storm brought in nine new players to join the team after they lost four seniors after last season.
Coach Carmichael spoke about how the mix of new and returning players worked together, "We were fortunate to return a very strong class who knew my philosophy on how I wanted the game to be played. On top of that the new players adjusted very quickly. We worked really hard in pre-season on how we wanted to play. In training, everything was with the ball: lots of passing exercises, possession games, and everything to do with retaining the ball with a purpose.
Lake Erie opened the season with a nonconference win over California (Pa.) to continue a four year streak that the Storm has not lost their season opener. In nonconference play, the Storm went 2-1 overall with a win over Alderson-Broaddus late in the year.
Over the first six games in the GLIAC, the Storm had a record of 2-3-1 with wins over Findlay and Walsh.
"A few games early on in the season didn't go well in results despite us controlling large spells of possession. We were playing good football, we just weren't finding the back of the net and the occasional defensive lapses in concentration were costing us. I think a big part of that was our emphasis on what we did rather than what happened when the opposition had the ball, said Carmichael on the early season struggles.
On October 5th, Lake Erie battled #3 Saginaw Valley State to a 0-0 draw in double overtime on the road. From that point forward, the Storm would not lose a game until the GLIAC Tournament.
"Those areas of concentration certainly changed as the season progressed. We gradually got more comfortable with the system of play and started to find our feet. We eventually displayed a strong, defensive way of playing without losing the good things and the possession we had in the advanced areas and the goals came."
The Storm won eight straight games and seven straight in the GLIAC to conclude the regular season. Two weeks after the tie with Saginaw Valley State, Lake Erie upset the #2 Cardinals 2-0 at home.
"The players looked like they were enjoying playing more; they were more relaxed, more comfortable with the formation and more confident. The eight game win streak was a product of this increasing confidence."
The eight game winning streak put the Storm as the #3 seed in the GLIAC going into the tournament. The Storm faced Northwood in the GLIAC Semifinals and fell, 2-0 to the Timberwolves.
Senior Alfred Majer led the Storm with eight goals scored in 2013 and he repeated as the Storm's offensive weapon in 2014. He found the back of the net six times to lead the team. Majer was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team and won GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week once.
As a team, Lake Erie sported an 11 goal difference from the previous season (30 in 2014 vs. 19 in 2013).
Senior Cory Bucur finished second on the Storm with five goals scored, a career-high. Bucur was named to the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention and the All-GLIAC Tournament Teams.
Six players were honored with All-GLIAC honors accolades after the season. Juniors Ryan Gibson and Anthony Novak were named All-GLIAC First Team. Majer, Joseph Coombs and Nolyn Do Nascimento were named to the All-GLIAC Second Team. Coombs was also named to the Daktronics All-Midwest Region Second Team.
Coach Carmichael was named GLIAC Coach of the Year since the Storm finished with the best record in school history at 11-5-2.
In the goal, junior Filip Ljubevski made 73 saves in 17 games with 13 goals allowed. Ljubevski was named the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week once during the season.
Coach Carmichael on the season as a whole, "Overall we were pleased with the regular season but obviously hoped and believed we could have gone further in post season play. One of the pleasing things for us as a coaching staff was that the players believed in what we were asking of them, despite the early losses."
The Storm will return in 2015 and focus on continuing with the good things of this season. If the Storm can repeat the success of 2014, they can continue the uprise of the program.